GISS alumna one of Maid’s production personnel
By MARCIA JANSEN
Clea Mihalik has worked as a second assistant director on the film sets of Godzilla, Deadpool and The Art of Racing in the Rain, but the highlight of her career so far is her contribution to the Netflix series Maid.
The series was partly filmed on Salt Spring Island, the island where Mihalik grew up.
Maid is an American drama series inspired by Stephanie Land’s memoir Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother’s Will to Survive. In the first episode, Alex has just left her emotionally abusive boyfriend with their daughter Maddy and takes the ferry to clean houses on “Fisher Island” in Washington State. People who’ve already watched the show probably recognized the Quinitsa ferry and the Fulford ferry terminal.
When Mihalik was hired as a second assistant director for Maid, she didn’t know she was going to film on the island where she spent her childhood.
“When I heard that we would be filming on a ferry, I had a hunch that it would be Port Angeles, and I was absolutely delighted when I heard that we were going to film in Fulford,” Mihalik said.
One day last October, Netflix rented the entire ferry to shoot different scenes on the Quinitsa, and the ferry terminals in Swartz Bay and Fulford.
“It was a huge operation,” Mihalik continued. “BC Ferries was very accommodating and let us take over most of the terminal. We started the day at 6:30 in the morning, and shot the scenes in Swartz Bay first before we were all loaded onto the ferry. When we arrived on Salt Spring I told the crew that I was going off quickly to say hi to my parents who were waiting for me in Fulford. They still live in the home that I grew up in on Roland Road, and the house ended up being featured prominently in Episode 8.”
Mihalik graduated from Gulf Islands Secondary School in 2010.
“I had done small video projects in middle and high school and took courses at the Gulf Islands Film & Television School on Galiano Island,” she said. “After I graduated I went to Capilano University School of Motion Picture Arts and got my first job as a production assistant in 2012. In my early childhood, I was convinced I wanted to be an actress. Now a big part of my job is taking care of actors. It is like being a mom. I tell them what to do, make sure they bring everything they need and that they don’t miss appointments.”
Mihalik worked for seven months on the Maid set, which was mainly filmed in Victoria, and premiered earlier this month.
“I am very proud that the show is doing so well. It is a very serious and very real story. You definitely feel the weight of the topic. It is sometimes hard to watch, but it ends with hope.”
Because of its domestic violence theme, the production crew donated wardrobe and set decorations to organizations that help women escaping abusive situations.